Toronto Metropolitan University
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Maternal incarceration : exploring the impact on children

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posted on 2021-06-08, 12:31 authored by Lia Morrin Jenner
The purpose of this exploratory research study was to examine the impact of maternal incarceration on mothers and their children from an ecological perpective. Individual interviews were conducted with four mothers who have previously been in conflict with the law and have been in custody for a minimum twelve months. Two primary workers from Elizabeth Fry Society of Simcoe County were also interviewed for another perspective pertaining to this topic. Participants were recruited by distributing advertisements at the Elizabeth Fry Society of Simcoe County. This study coincided with the literature and found that there are a number of combining factors from the broader system which impact the developmetnal outcomes of a child. After analyzing the data it appeared that there were two main aspects reported by all participants that affect children when their mothers are incarcerated. These include: System Barriers and Resouce Barriers. The participants from this study recommended child friendly centres and physical visitations to rectify and mainain the mother-child relationship while mothers are incarcerated. This study helped to deconstruct norms associated with traditional families and recognized the unique experiences of mother-child relationships during incarceration.





  • Master of Arts


  • Early Childhood Studies

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Francis Hare